Why I Am An Agnostic [Short Version]

Robert Howard Kroepel
Copyright © 2000
Lakeside Studios
20 South Shore Road
New Durham, New Hampshire, USA 03855-2107

    From conversations with people who are not philosophers, most people define theist, atheist, and agnostic in the following ways:

    Concerning religion, the fundamental question is this: Do Mystical Beings Exist?
    Mystical beings are defined as gods/goddesses/demons/demonnesses believed to have more knowledge than man [mankind], and more powers to use their superior knowledge to create things and events man cannot currently create.
    Beings are defined as things who/which have minds which are their personal systems of desires, fears and priorities which cause their actions and reactions which are their behavior and which cause their feelings, personalities, mental problems, and mental health.
    To exist is defined as having the property of being real, actual, in contrast to having the property of being the content of an idea, a mental representation.
    Mystical beings are not necessarily supernatural beings. To be supernatural would somehow require being not within the natural universe, and not subject to the limitations of the matter and energy of the natural universe.
    To not be subject to the natural limitations of matter and energy is logically impossible.
    The universe is defined as the arena, theatre, location, geography within which all things including human beings and mystical beings exist.
    Matter and energy are the only known sources of causality, causes of effects, and, therefore, mystical beings would be expected consist of matter and energy and to use matter and energy to create (cause) changes in people/things/events (effects).
    If mystical beings are a part of the natural universe (the only universe that exists in reality in contrast to being the content of an idea, a fantasy), then though limited by the limitations of matter and energy they nevertheless may have knowledge and powers superior to man and therefore able to create (cause) many if not most of the people/things/events within the universe. Thus the concept of a mystical being who/which is a part of the natural universe (the only universe) is a rational idea; it is not, as atheists complain, an irrational idea.
    Thus, the concept of a mystical being who/which is a natural part of the universe is not an irrational idea. The problem is that we have no proof that mystical beings exist.
    To prove that mystical beings exist, in contrast to being the content of an idea, proof is required.
    Proof consists of     I am a scientist.
    I think like a scientist.
    I follow The Code of Science.

The Code of Science

I. Science is the organized study of the people/things/events who/which are the natural phenomena of reality for the purpose of determining the causality among the people/things/events of reality.
    Causality is the cause-and-effect relationships among the people/things/events. Causality describes which people/things/events cause other people/things/events.
    Scientific knowledge is the description of the causality between/among the people/things/events who/which are the natural phenomena of reality.

II. Scientists must create operational definitions of the terms they wish to use so they can communicate effectively with themselves, with other scientists, and with nonscientists.
    Operational definitions are definitions which present the observations and/or measurements [descriptions] of the people/things/events who/which are natural phenomena; operational definitions can be used to define complex and abstract concepts, principles and techniques. For example, children often use sentence structures of "_____ [concept/principle being defined] is when _____ [observation/measurement/description of the actions/reactions of people/things/events being operationally defined]." A child may create an operational definition of love in the following way: "Love is when someone says they like you and they do nice things for you and with you ." The child's observation/measurement/description of the actions/reactions of someone who loves provides an operational definition of the term love.

III. Scientists must follow the scientific method in determining the causality of people/things/events.

The Scientific Method

  1. Specify the unit of study [the people/things/events to be studied].
  2. Observe and/or measure the units of study to gather data.
  3. Create a causal hypothesis which describes and predicts the causes of effects among the people/things/events who/which are the units of study.
  4. Observe/measure more people/things/events who/which are units of study to gather additional data which can be used to confirm [verify] or deny the causal hypothesis].
  5. Determine if or not the additional data confirm/verify or deny the causal hypothesis.
  6. If the data confirm the causal hypothesis, then let other people know of the hypothesis and the scientific method that lead to the creation and confirmation of the hypothesis, and declare the verified/confirmed hypothesis to be a scientific law/law of nature; but if the data do not confirm the causal hypothesis, then either revise the hypothesis to fit the data, or else create a new hypothesis and follow the Scientific Method Steps 4-6.
Thus, the scientific method requires observation of the people/things/events of reality and does not allow speculation or religious dogma to be passed off as facts/truth.

IV. Scientists must list the scientific principles they have determined to be scientific principles/laws of nature, so other people can know what the scientists claim to be knowledge. Moreover, scientists must publish/present the observations and measurements of natural phenomena (units of study) by which they created and by which they confirmed/verified their causal hypotheses in order that other scientists may replicate/duplicate their observations and measurements to confirm/deny their causal hypotheses and claims of scientific principles.

    Mystical beings to date have not and most likely cannot be contacted and persuaded to be verified by means of the scientific method. Therefore, to date, we cannot verify or falsify their existence. This does not mean they do not exist, but it does mean that we cannot accept as true the concept of mystical beings.
    I hold that holy books should be inspired by mystical beings; and that if holy books are inspired by mystical beings, then those holy books should contain only truth and thus should not contain any inconsistencies.
    The Christian Bible has inconsistencies which prove that it was not inspired by mystical beings.
    Moreover, the Christian Bible has been proven to have been written to lure people into believing in Jesus as The Christ and thus was fictionalized. The stories of Jesus and the miracles, etc., are fictions written to persuade people that Jesus was half-man and half-god, who had a message showing people how to attain eternal life, and therefore was worthy of worship. The Jewish Bible was rewritten to become the Christian Old Testament with the prophecies rewritten to foretell the coming of Jesus Christ. The Christian New Testament was written to prove that Jesus Christ fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies. Thus, the Christian old Testament is supposed to be true because it predicts Jesus Christ and the Christian New Testament is supposed to be true because it fulfills the Old Testament prophecies. The problem with all this is that the Jewish Bible prophecies predict local events within a limited time period and not events concerning Jesus Christ many years later and outside the original limited time period. And thus the fictional nature of the Christian Bible proves that it is not a true work about mystical beings but, instead, a work written by people trying to convince other people to become Christians. This fictionalization process sounds like modern advertising fictions designed to sell a product or a service and must therefore be rejected.
    If I am to be an agnostic, I must have criteria for accepting proof of the existence of mystical beings. It is not fair to reject a concept of a mystical being without having some criteria by which a mystical being could be observed and measured and therefore certified/verified to exist and to be a mystical being.
    To believe in mystical beings, I would have to see/hear/touch (though not necessarily smell/taste) a god/goddess (and, hopefully, not a demon/demonness, although the existence of a demon/demonness would prove the existence of mystical beings and therefore the likely existence of gods/goddesses who/which would most likely be more pleasant to worship and therefore prompt me to reject the demons/demonnesses); the mystical beings would have to perform “miracles” such as resurrecting people truly known to be dead, such as my mother and father, to cure diseases man cannot currently cure, to regenerate new limbs for people who have lost their limbs, to cause rain to fall on cue, etc.; and the mystical beings would have to talk with us and tell us their history, what they want from us, whether or not we could have an afterlife, and how we could earn such an afterlife.
    Until I see/hear/touch/smell/taste a mystical being, until a mystical being performs miracles and thus proves himself to be a being of knowledge and powers superior to man, and until a mystical being spends time with humans and tells us what he/she/it expects of us (wants from us, want us to do), then I must remain an agnostic.